A new report by Nielsen, a US-based global and information measurement company, showed that Africa’s largest economy was no longer the top investment destination on the continent. In its place, Cote d’Ivoire has risen to the top of the rankings.
According to Nielsen, Cote d’Ivoire has been buoyed by a fast growing economy and a lengthy period of political stability highlighted by successful elections last year to become the prime destination for investments in Africa.
However, that status could now be affected following a recent attack by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM).
Having been ranked as the top investment destination at the start of 2015, Nigeria has now fallen to fourth on the rankings in Africa.
The ominous slide fits the narrative of Nigeria’s slowing economic growth amid a global slump in commodity prices, the report said. Oil in particular, Nigeria’s main export and revenue source, has been badly hit.
According to the research firm, Nigeria’s slide was “driven primarily by deteriorating macro-economic indicators”. It also added that “consumer indicators and overall confidence levels” have also dipped.
A recent capital importation report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) also confirmed the Nielsen report.
Last year, Nigeria’s recorded total inflow of capital into the economy stood at $9.6 billion —a 53 per cent drop from the previous year and the lowest recorded total since 2011.
While incidental economic factors have largely contributed to Nigeria’s floundering economy, the country’s government has also come in for criticism for not managing the crisis effectively.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of the economy has been questioned with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) instituting strict monetary controls in response to commodity prices and a currency slide.
These controls, which inevitably strained citizens and hardly had the desired effect, have been described as unorthodox.
As Buhari closes in on his first year in office, many Nigerians will be hoping that in his second year, the focus will be on triggering an economic rebound in Africa’s biggest economy following slowed growth.